Why We Shouldn’t Teach Digital Citizenship (and What We Should Do Instead)

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Participate and share : Interactive lecture

Dr. LeeAnn Lindsey  
No, you didn’t read that wrong; it’s true. We should not be teaching digcit to our students and I’ll tell you the top five reasons why. Then we’ll work together to discover what we can do instead to help our students grow as positive, responsible and healthy technology users.

Audience: Principals/head teachers, Professional developers, Teachers
Skill level: Intermediate
Attendee devices: Devices required
Attendee device specification: Smartphone: Android, iOS, Windows
Laptop: Chromebook, Mac, PC
Tablet: Android, iOS, Windows
Topic: Digital citizenship
ISTE Standards: For Educators:
  • Create experiences for learners to make positive, socially responsible contributions and exhibit empathetic behavior online that build relationships and community.
  • Establish a learning culture that promotes curiosity and critical examination of online resources and fosters digital literacy and media fluency.
  • Mentor students in safe, legal and ethical practices with digital tools and the protection of intellectual rights and property.
Additional detail: ISTE author presentation

Proposal summary

Purpose & objective

Participants will:
* Consider the difference between TEACHING digital citizenship vs CREATING A CULTURE of digital citizenship
* Explore a framework of 7 keys to creating a culture of positive digital citizenship and ways in which they can unlock more positive digital citizenship in their context
* Identify 3 ways they can strengthen the digital citizenship culture in their classroom/school/district


(5 minutes): Introduction and Warm Up
Facilitator leads whole group warm up - How do you know if you're teaching digital citizenship?

(10 minutes): Whole Group Presentation - Facilitator leads an interactive discussion on the top 5 reasons we shouldn’t teach digital citizenship using a game-based approach

(15 minutes): Peer-to-Peer Interaction - Participants will explore a variety of resources and consider how they represent an idea that will strengthen the culture of digital citizenship in the classroom or school setting

(5 minutes): Whole Group Presentation - Facilitator presents the framework for 7 keys for creating a culture of positive digital citizenship

(5 minutes) Closure and Commitments - Facilitator will guide participants to synthesize their learning and commit to next steps in their digital citizenship practice

Supporting research

Copeland-Whyte, Nyree. (2019). Digital Citizenship: Focusing on the what, why, and how. The Learning Accelerator.

McGuire, Brooke. (2019). Digital Citizenship: What it Means, How to Teach It, and the Resources You Need. American College of Education.

Meyer, Leila. (2016). Report: Digital Citizenship Should be a Key Component of Classroom Technology Initiatives. THE Journal.

Mattson, Kristen. (2017). Digital Citizenship in Action : Empowering Students to Engage in Online Communities. First edition., International Society for Technology in Education.

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